COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwire - November 30, 2010) - No matter what time of day it is, Don King, Lee County Electric Cooperative, Inc.'s senior supervisor for construction and maintenance, knows where his company's lineworkers are -- all of them. The click of a mouse gives King a complete view into whether they're working, available to work or unavailable. And the line personnel, who maintain over 8,000 miles of energized line in Southwest Florida, like it that way.
Since September, King and LCEC's supervisors have kept tabs on the availability and schedules of workers via a new, Internet-based application from ARCOS, Inc. The ARCOS System automatically tracks the status of employees who restore power for LCEC, plus it launches programmable callouts to bring these workers together in crews when needed.
For the last five years, says King, LCEC relied on a system designed to dial line personnel when storms, power outages and other events struck, but the tool offered no reporting, metrics or analysis.
"Our old system could dial out to our crews when there was an outage, but there was no way -- other than by hand -- to track the availability of our crews and resources," said King. "There was no global snapshot for scheduling or managing resources. And what we did gather we collected by phoning workers and manual data entry. Try as we may, there was always room for errors. And you only had to make one or two before the folks you were measuring doubted the validity of your results."
After implementing the ARCOS System in September, LCEC began tapping into its computers to get a real-time look at exactly how many of its line personnel were on call, out sick, on vacation or in training. As the utility plans for storm seasons and holidays, LCEC supervisors will be checking into the ARCOS automated resource management system and setting the percentage of workers needed for any period. Supervisors aim to go into the ARCOS automated resource management and callout system and reconfigure information on employees or crews in order to meet the demand of daily and seasonal workloads.
"We have a much better baseline in place for decision-making now," added King. "We can use the system to notify line personnel in seconds of an outage, and track their status until power is restored. Plus, the system gives us the operational metrics to help us monitor response time and availability of linemen; these things roll up into higher level metrics that measure the average outage duration for each customer."
King says, for the most part, customers won't know that there's been a change to the way LCEC restores power. But LCEC will use the ARCOS System to compress the time it takes to contact and assemble crews to get to the point of an outage.
LCEC line personnel can access the password-protected system to accept a callout, and, afterwards, input that they've worked late into the night, thus requiring them to take several hours of rest. This alerts supervisors to rearrange crews for the next day with a few keystrokes, instead of hunting through voicemails to account for workers.
Because the ARCOS System is a hosted, web-based software system, LCEC supervisors can access the tool from any laptop computer with an Internet connection. If a disaster should disable, or even destroy, LCEC's headquarters, King and his colleagues can still use the ARCOS System to track resources and people, remotely from a safe location.
"The need for a programmable callout system piqued LCEC's interest in ARCOS," said Mitchell McLeod, president and CEO of ARCOS, Inc. "But the system's ability to manage the resources to restore power has put LCEC in the catbird seat."
About ARCOS, Inc.
Since 1993, Columbus, Ohio-based ARCOS, Inc. (ARCOS) has been the energy utility leader in automated crew callout and resource management systems. The ARCOS System allows utilities to reduce callouts from hours to minutes improving CAIDI and SAIDI metrics, while complying with complex union callout rules. The ARCOS System is offered software‐as‐a‐service over the Internet eliminating any need for utilities to install and support the system. Full implementation takes as little as eight to 12 weeks. To learn more, visit www.arcos-inc.com, or call 614-396-5500.
for ARCOS, Inc.